August 1, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 15

J&M Fabrication building themselves quite the reputation

J&M Fabrication runs like much of the work Justin Miller and his employees perform: a few individual parts welded together to create something much greater.

Drew Peterson
Justin Miller stands in front of the J&M service truck.

What is now a six-man operation performing work across the nation, all began on the farm of Miller in the early 2000s.

Miller, a Cheney High School graduate, had been working at a Spokane fabrication shop while taking agriculture business classes as a student Spokane Community College. After successfully completing his two years at SCC, Miller decided to take his newfound knowledge and return to the farm where he grew up to continue doing what he knew best: building stuff for people.

“As a kid I grew up farming and fixing stuff,” Miller said. “People just wanted me to start building stuff for them. So I started my own deal not really having any idea, you know it was just kind of a sideline deal, and then it turned into what it is.”

And what J&M is today has far exceeded even Miller’s wildest expectations.

“Oh yeah, no idea,” Miller said when asked about his initial expectations. “I had no idea what would happen and then it just snowballed and got bigger and bigger and better and better. I definitely didn’t plan on it that’s for sure.”

Miller and J&M provides a multitude of services from custom welding and equipment repairs to custom made combine parts, on-site millwright work and also custom made truck bodies and flatbeds.

“A little bit of everything,” Miller said when asked about J&M’s services. “We are pretty diversified in the group of guys that we have and what each knows or their kind of specialty. Whatever comes through the door we can fix.”

While Cheney has always been home to Miller, the reach of J&M is far beyond sending him and his crew to California, Wisconsin, Texas and even as far as North Carolina to undertake projects.

“We’ve been all over the United States working,” Miller said. “Wherever they want us to go, we’ll go to fix stuff.”

While Miller’s specialty is fixing things, if more clean grain and return elevators used his 12-gauge construction products -which are 2.5 times stronger than factory issued parts- there would be a few less things to fix.

“We just build stuff so it’s a little better than the factory stuff so the guys aren’t replacing some of the parts of the combine so fast,” Miller said. “It’s just a thicker base metal or material so it wears longer. So we build it out of that stuff so it lasts longer for the guys and sell it in the same amount and for less than what the dealership sells it for.”

While everything may seem like smooth sailing for Miller and J&M, like any business owner, Miller is not exempt from his share of difficulties.

“Paperwork,” Miller joked when asked about his biggest troubles.“Building stuff and fixing stuff, that’s easy for me. It’s doing all the stuff that you have to do to be in business that’s hard. But they haven’t thrown me in jail yet so I must be doing the paperwork all right, too.”

J&M Fabrication is located at 10001 S. Cheney St. Anyone interested in J&M’s services can contact Miller at (509) 235-5711 or on his cellphone at (509) 993-2890.

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